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Archive for the ‘cakes’ Category

Hey! So I’ve been cooking up a storm lately, but nothing really blog worthy. More so, just some old favorites, many that I’ve already posted. With Easter coming up, there are some good things in the archives for your holiday brunches and dinners so let’s recap today.

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How wonderful is a good bundt cake? There’s something so homey and comforting about a moist wedge, usually with some kind of fantastic sugary glaze, that makes me so stinkin’ happy. The last month has been a bit crazy – travel, wicked jetlag, insane Olympic viewing marathons – that I badly needed something homey and comforting. My cooking mojo was running low and dinner has often consisted of a bowl of popcorn or a plate of raw vegetables and whatever I could round up to act as a dip. For the last several posts, I’ve made foods from recently maligned countries, and while very good, they weren’t cake. I needed cake. When I saw my friend Cathy Barrow’s recipe in The Washington Times for a Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake, I perked up. I had meyer lemons. I had butter and eggs and whatnot. Game on.

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I haven’t started this year off on the right food, from a health nor a cooking perspective. I pushed into 2018 with a cold. That horrible, no good, terrible flu that’s making the rounds. I was down for the count for days and have been “in recovery” for two weeks. I feel better – I’m not downing a pack of Dayquil every few days anymore – but I certainly don’t feel great. I haven’t been hungry. I haven’t been cooking anything beyond buttered noodles and frozen pot pies. My kitchen mojo is running on empty.

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I’m still trying to work my way through a boatload of apples I picked a few weeks ago. Applesauce, cakes, fritters. A pie once or twice. These things are making a dent but I have to keep going. I’m not sure how many times I can google “recipes that use a lot of apples” and expect different results but recently, I had a new idea based on a mediocre slice of pie: apple bars. Something buttery, crumbly and full of apple flavor. Something creamy would be wonderful too. I was thinking cream cheese, much like my German Apple Cheese Torte but in a bar form. That used hard to find quark cheese but honestly, anything in that creamy, dairy family would be good – crème fraiche, sour cream, mascarpone, ricotta. Hmmmmmm.

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I’m drowning in apples right now. This happens every October/November and it’s not a bad problem to have. My farmer friend Pete had an orchard party and I did some picking – Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Valspar, McIntosh and who knows what else. I just wandered among the trees, putting whatever interested me into my bag so I’m not altogether sure what’s what anyway. My picking adventure resulted in soaking wet boots, two giant bowls that don’t fit in my refrigerator and a need to make some recipes packed with apples. A few days after the party, I made some apple fritters. Two apples down.

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After a month of chocolate recipes followed by a bunch of beer recipes and a few Italian dishes for good measure, I was in the mood for something light, bright and tangy. Something citrus, puckery citrus. Something that screamed “Spring!!” at the top of its lungs. A tender, buttery bundt cake sounded pretty good too. Let’s combine the two, shall we?

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In college, my favorite bar hands down was an Irish bar. I went to one of those big Arizona so called “party” schools, packed with scruffy sports bars serving $2 pitchers of Coors Light. Don’t get me wrong, I frequented those establishments often but when my friends and I had a spare 10 bucks we’d head to our Irish bar for pints of Guinness or black and tans (Guinness and Harp) and a few rounds of darts. It wasn’t until much later, in Chicago, that I discovered the other Guinness drinks: the Black Velvet – Guinness and champagne – and the Snakebite – Guinness and Hard Cider. Being a champagne and a Guinness lover, I could never really get behind mixing the two but a Snakebite was quite nice on occasion. The deep dark notes of the stout were accented rather nicely by the tart, effervescent cider. Today, for St. Patrick’s Day I made this combination into a cake. Of course I did.

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